The 2019 season is over for the Orioles, which means it’s time to tally up the results of the annual pre-season contest! Back in March I posted 30 questions and wished you all well. 276 of you answered the call and now that the season has ended and the dust has settled, we have seven winners! That’s the most winners we’ve ever had in one contest.
Congrats to hot lurkers hts2804, MnOsFan, jctaylor004, macca10551, and OriolesMakeMeCry. Congrats also to sometimes commenter cmitch9. And congrats to someone you all know, blog boss Mark Brown!
The seven winners all answered 20 questions correctly. You’re all so smart. Well done.
To find out where you placed, check out the completed spreadsheet. It’s in order from most to least correct answers, so you may have to CTRL+F yourself.
Finally, a big thanks to my friend fart_shoes, who built me an easy to use spreadsheet and always helps out when I have questions.
And now, on to the answers!
Which will be higher?
- Games started by Trey Mancini or innings pitched by Andrew Cashner? Winner - Mancini (153-96.1). This one was decided earlier than expected when Cashner was traded to the Red Sox on July 13th. Cashner pitched in 52 innings for Boston, so it’s safe to say if he’d stayed with the Orioles he might have passed Trey. 56.47% of you picked correctly.
- Chris Davis batting average * 1000 or Dylan Bundy strikeouts? Winner - Davis (178-162). When I chose this question I was hoping both answers would be a little closer to 200, but that’s on me for expecting too much from the 2019 Orioles. 70.86% answered correctly.
- Jonathan Villar stolen bases or Hunter Harvey innings pitched across all levels? Winner - Harvey (82-40). Ok, so this question was really just about if Harvey would stay healthy. And he did! That’s good news for everyone. Villar did what he could with his 40 steals, good for third in the majors. 76.26% answered correctly.
- Team hits or team strikeouts? Winner - team strikeouts (1432-1379). These numbers have been very close the past two years, but they wouldn’t have been the 2019 Orioles if they got more hits than strikeouts. And yet over half of the people thought the O’s would have more hits! How optimistic. 42.09% chose correctly.
- Team runs scored or Chance Sisco OPS*1000? TIE! Yes, that’s right. After 162 games played (only 59 by Sisco, I expected more), the Orioles score 729 runs and Chance Sisco had an OPS of .729. It’s kind of unbelievable. Like the Davis batting average/Bundy strikeout question, I wish both numbers had been higher.
- Yusniel Diaz PA as an Oriole or Mark Trumbo PA as an Oriole? Winner - Trumbo (31-0). I had high hopes that we might see Diaz in 2019, but in retrospect it was never really realistic. 58.99% of you chose correctly.
- Team wins vs the AL East or team total saves? Winner - saves (27-24). This one was pretty close! Both numbers are kind of embarrassing though. 76.62% chose correctly.
- Mychal Givens saves as an Oriole or saves by all other Orioles pitchers? Winner - all other pitchers (16-11). Givens went into the season as the closer. But it turns out he wasn’t that good. Oops. 62.26% picked the winner.
- Walks by Trey Mancini or walks by Alex Cobb? Winner - Mancini (63-2). Mancini led all O’s batters with 63 walks. This one was decided early as Cobb went on the DL for the rest of the season in April. 63.39% picked Mancini.
- Questions right in this contest, Mark or Stacey? Winner - Mark (18-15). The bad news for me is that Mark beat me easily in choosing answers. The good news for me is I picked Mark as my answer! Only 41.73% of you picked the correct answer. I appreciate your faith in me!
- Will Chris Davis be a member of the Orioles on July 1st? Yes! Many speculated Davis would be cut early in the season as he continues to look clueless at the plate. And yet he made it all the way to the end of the season. And per a recent interview from Mike Elias with the media, it sounds like Davis will, at the very least, be reporting to spring training in 2020. 77.7% of you knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
- Will the Orioles have the worst record in baseball? No! It was neck-and-neck with the Detroit Tigers for awhile, but Detroit showed commitment to losing even the Orioles couldn’t match. It is pretty tough to be the worst two seasons in a row. 45.32% of you chose correctly.
- Will the Orioles have a player who hits at least 25 home runs? Yes! They had two, in fact. Trey Mancini hit 35 and and Renato Núñez hit 31. Jonathan Villar came close with 24 dingers of his own. How much of that is the juiced ball? More than none. 70.14% chose correctly.
- Will the Orioles select Adley Rutschman with the #1 pick in the June draft? Yes! And it was very exciting indeed. There was some speculation leading up to the draft that they might go another direction, but maybe that was just the pundits trying to inject drama. 63.67% of you said yes on Adley.
- Will the Orioles call up Ryan Mountcastle in 2019? No. Mountcastle had a great year at the plate in 2019 and was named MVP of the International League. But he is still something of a man without a position. I think for sure we’ll see him next year, though. Only 19.78% of you correctly predicted he wouldn’t be called up.
- Orioles wins: 62.5 - Under (54). The Orioles lost their 100th game of the season on September 14th, so this one was inevitable for a long time. But at least they were better than last year? 62.59% of you chose correctly.
- Number of times the Orioles will be shut out: 12.5 - Under (8). This one wasn’t even close! The Orioles averaged 4.5 runs per game this year, which sounds like a lot but was still below average. But they somehow managed to scratch out exactly one run 15 times to keep themselves from being shut out. 40.29% answered correctly.
- Lowest single game attendance: 6999.5 - Under. It didn’t take long to answer this question. The O’s first home series of the year was a weekend series against the Yankees and saw respectable attendance. But home game number four was a Monday against the A’s and had an announced attendance of 6,585. Ouch. That was the only game of the season that fell under the 7,000 mark. 52.88% of you answered correctly.
- Pitchers with an ERA below 4.50 (min 30 innings) - 7.5. Way under (2). In 2018, the Orioles had five pitchers meet this criteria. In 2017 it was eight. But this year? Only John Means (3.60) and Andrew Cashner (3.83) managed to keep an ERA under 4.50. That’s something. Cashner’s combined ERA with the Orioles and Red Sox was 4.68, so the O’s definitely got his best this year. 65.47% of you chose correctly.
- Starting pitchers used: 11.5 - Over (18). This question might not feasible in the future as openers become more common. 18 sounds like a ton of pitchers but some, like Richard Bleier, were clearly never going to be pitching more than a few innings. In case you’re wondering, the 18 used were: Dylan Bundy (30 GS), John Means (27), Andrew Cashner (17), Asher Wojciechowski (16), David Hess (14), Gabriel Ynoa (13), Aaron Brooks (12), Dan Straily (8), Ty Blach (5), Tom Eshelman (4), Jimmy Yacabonis (4), Alex Cobb (3), Chandler Shepherd (3), Nate Karns (2), Richard Bleier (1), Yefry Ramirez (1), Luis Ortiz (1), Sean Gilmartin (1). 85.61% picked correctly.
- Which of the following starting pitchers will make the most starts for the Orioles? Jimmy Yacabonis, Luis Ortiz, Mike Wright, David Hess, Josh Rogers. Answer: David Hess (14). None of these guys were any good, but Hess was the...best? 45.45% of you chose Hess as the answer.
- Which player will make the most starts at shortstop? Richie Martin, Drew Jackson, Alcides Escobar, Jonathan Villar, Hanser Alberto. Answer: Richie Martin (89). In this end this was only a contest between Martin and Villar, but even then it wasn’t that close. Martin made 16 more starts at shortstop than Villar, with Villar getting most of his playing time at second base. It seems everyone knew this was going to be the case as 77.34% of you chose correctly.
- Which A.L. East team will the Orioles get the most wins against? Answer - Blue Jays (8). If the Orioles could have completed the sweep against the Red Sox yesterday, they would have beaten them eight times as well. Instead they lost in embarrassing fashion. It makes sense that they’d have the most wins against the fourth place team anyway. 56.12% of you used that same logic and made the correct pick.
- Which full-season minor league affiliate will have the highest winning %? Answer - Delmarva Shorebirds (.652). This answer was a crap shoot going into the season, but the Shorebirds showed early they were going to be one of the winningest times in all of minor league baseball. They finished the season with 90 wins. Only 5.4% of you chose correctly.
- Which of these outfielders will finish the season with the highest OPS (min 100 PA)? Austin Hays, D.J. Stewart, Cedric Mullins, Joey Rickard, Yusniel Diaz, Anthony Santander. Answer - Santander (.773). Only Santander, Rickard, and Stewart reached the 100 plate appearance mark and Santander won easily. He was one of the pleasant surprises of 2019. He started September with an .854 but sputtered to a finish and has been shut down over the last week due some undisclosed banged-upness. Only 8.63% of you chose correctly. The most common answer was Austin Hays. Hays went into the last game of the season with a .958 OPS but fell short of the 100 PA mark by about 20.
Who will be the first...
- Oriole to hit a home run? Answer: Renato Núñez. Núñez hit 31 homers this season and was a lot of fun to watch (at the plate).
- Oriole to pitch a complete game? Answer: The Orioles will not have a complete game. The only other season in O’s history that they did not record a complete game was 2015, so picking it is kind of a sucker’s bet. Even Ubaldo threw a complete game as an Oriole! And yet it was the most common answer in this year’s contest, with 47.48% of you picking it.
- Player called up from the minors? Answer: Matt Wotherspoon. Do you remember this guy? It’s ok if you don’t. He made two appearances in 2019 for the Orioles. He gave up three runs in two innings on April 3rd and five runs in 2.2 innings on June 23rd. Not a single person picked him as the first player called up.
- Team the Orioles sweep? Answer: The Orioles will not have a sweep. This is the first time in O’s history that they didn’t have at least one sweep in a season. They did it last year. They did it in 1988. They did in 1954. Just another distinction for the 2019 Orioles. Only 26 of you picked that as the answer, which makes sense given that it had never happened before.
- Team that sweeps the Orioles? Answer: Yankees. Yankees was the most common pick, and for good reason. Not only are the Orioles a lot worse than the Yankees, the two teams played each other twice in the first three series of the year. It took them to that second series to get swept, but after that they were swept in every subsequent series with the Yankees this year. 55.04% chose correctly.
That’s it! Thank you to the hundreds of you who participated and to those of you who followed along during the year. The pre-season contest is always one of my favorite things on Camden Chat each year and I’m grateful for everyone who participates. I’ll see you for another contest in 2020!